Also known as: Caltiki, il mostro immortale (Italy)
Release Date: August 8th, 1959 (Italy)
Directed by: Mario Bava, Riccardo Freda
Written by: Filippo Sanjust, Riccardo Freda
Music by: Roberto Nicolosi
Cast: John Merivale, Didi Perego, Gerard Herter, Giacomo Rossi
Galatea Film, Climax Pictures, Lux Film, 76 Minutes
“The garden is filled with monsters!” – Policeman
In a nutshell, this was an Italian ripoff of The Blob. However, it is so much more than that and actually stands on its own with the extra elements it introduces into the story.
This film’s “blob” is some sort of ancient monster that feeds off of radiation. It is all tied into Mayan mythology and the film gives us some cool sets and architecture because of the Mayan spin on The Blob story.
This film gives us wacky science, multiplying blob creatures, cool sets and it carries a 1950s Tiki vibe, even if it set in Mexico. Back in the day, movies didn’t really care about cultural authenticity. I mean, this film has black people playing Mayan descendants and as far as I know, Mayans just look like badass Mexicans and not a Caribbean voodoo tribe.
Caltiki is co-directed by Mario Bava, which I didn’t even realize until I popped the movie on. This was early in his career and just before his big breakout with 1960’s Black Sunday. It is blsack and white and doesn’t have the colorful giallo look that he would become famous for.
This is a cheesy and hokey movie but it is well crafted and better than you think it would be. It’s not a horror classic but it’s a fun ride, flies by and is far from dull.